Tag Archives: Bible

haunted?

26 Dec

Do you ever feel like you’re being haunted?

Not by ghosts or spooky-type-haunty-things, but by previous incidents, past experiences or people in your life that you wish you could forget or move on from? Memories that serve as constant reminders of the past, of how things were, that you cannot seem to escape? Have you ever felt like these “ghosts” are just freakin everywhere you turn??

Well, I don’t .

Just kidding. Its been happening to me all the time lately! Being “haunted” by the past… its like I can never truly escape it. Why can’t I stop thinking about these things? Pesky little ghosts.

Maybe your ghosts look like people, memories of someone who used to play a much larger role in your life. These ghosts may represent painful memories and/or broken relationships. You cannot seem to stop thinking about them, yet still these ghosts show up when you least expect them. Maybe they haunt you for years, sucking your thoughts back to a time you wish they would no longer recall. When these ghosts haunt you, they leave painful scars on your heart.

Maybe your ghosts look like past mistakes you’ve made, memories filled with regret and guilt. Have you ever been defined by your worst moment? You made a mistake, and eventually everyone found out. From that point on, they judged you and defined you by that one bad decision, by your worst moment, by your most painful memory.

Doesn’t that just feel awesome?

Some of you know exactly what I’m talking about. You try to move on from the past and “learn from your mistakes” but this ghost (your past) just keeps coming back… it just pops up out of nowhere and grabs you and starts dragging you down. You don’t know how to fight… well, how do you fight a ghost? A memory? You can never actually kill it anyway, for it is already dead, it is the past afterall. Yet, how are you supposed to make any progress moving forward when you are constantly reminded of and haunted by how things could have, or should have, been? Relentlessly haunted.

LEAVE ME ALONE ALREADY!

I do not want my thoughts to be consumed by these “ghosts” any longer! They are suffocating me. They are holding me hostage. I need some air. I need freedom from these ghosts.

But they seem to never go away, and the things or people they represent are never forgotten. These ghosts appear to never stop haunting you no matter how much time goes by or how much work you do to “fix” whatever situation after the fact (as if you could). You screwed up big time, everyone knows it, and now that is just who you are. That is your identity now.

Except it’s not.

Consider someone in the Bible who found himself in a similar situation:

One day, after Moses had grown up, he went out to where his own people were and watched them at their hard labor. He saw an Egyptian beating a Hebrew, one of his own people. Looking this way and that and seeing no one, he killed the Egyptian and hid him in the sand. The next day he went out and saw two Hebrews fighting. He asked the one in the wrong, ‘Why are you hitting your fellow Hebrew?’ The man said, ‘Who made you ruler and judge over us? Are you thinking of killing me as you killed the Egyptian?’ Then Moses was afraid and thought, ‘What I did must have become known.’ When Pharaoh heard of this, he tried to kill Moses, but Moses fled from Pharaoh and went to live in Midian…” – Exodus 2:11-15

Yeah that’s right, Moses killed a guy. He MURDERED someone. He thought he got away with it too, until he found out everyone and their mom knew about it. Not cool. He ran away and time passed until one day God told Moses that He wanted him to lead the Israelites out of Egypt. Moses was all “Excuuuse me? What? Uhh, no, I mean, I can’t… I’m like a murderer and a horrible person (in case You forgot) and I think You may have just mixed me up with someone else because I am no hero. I can’t do anything great because I am a major screw-up, just look at my past, look at what I’ve done –that’s who I am. You don’t want me. Seriously.”

But God was all like, “Listen here buddy, I know exactly who you are. Your future doesn’t have to be measured by your past mistakes. YOU are not defined by your past. I have something great planned for you. You do your part, and I’ll do mine.”

There is a phrase used a couple times throughout the book of Exodus that says: “This same Moses [fill-in-the-blank].” This same Moses who murdered the Egyptian, this same Moses who made a horrible mistake, this same Moses is the Moses that God is calling to do something great –to lead His people to freedom. God wanted to make it known that He did not define Moses the way other people did, or even the way Moses himself did. He wanted to define Moses’ life, his future, in a different way.

It’s kind of awesome.

I am the same Kadi that God wants to use and call to great things. YOU are the same [insert name here] that He wants to use and call to great things! No matter what you may have done in your past, He still has a plan for your life. He started at the beginning and is going to be faithful to complete it. He is going to do His part, He wants us to do ours.

“…He who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.” -Phil 1:6

When we allow ourselves to be defined by our worst moment, whether it is by others or by ourselves, we are paralyzed, stuck, unable to move into the future God wants to bring to our lives. He wants you to define your future in a different way.

There will never be anyone like you. The only person that can be the best version of yourself is you. God wants to bring the very best to your life. Do not allow yourself to be defined by your past, by your broken relationships, by your mistakes, by what others have judged you for or labeled you as. Sometimes we know God wants to give us a second chance, but we don’t give ourselves a second chance. Sometimes we need to learn how to forgive ourselves.

So, I am giving my ghosts to Him. I cannot change my past. I cannot fix what someone else broke in my life. I have to let it go. I want to grab hold of the future that God is calling me to. The greatness He has in store for me. My identity is found in HIM, not in what I’ve done (whether good or bad). I want to allow God to use the pain of my past for something beautiful, as only He can. He will provide rest and relief from these ghosts.

Peace out, ghosties!

(props to Mosaic for inspiring this post)

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risk

27 Apr

A turtle never moves forward until he sticks his neck out.

 

To move forward, you have to take some risks.

 

Check this out, the Bible is not a book that was written for our information, but for our transformation. When we choose to believe in the promises that God has to offer, when we actually apply those truths to our everyday lives, we will find the reward is well worth the effort.

 

Easier said that done though, right? In this life, it takes a lot of courage to risk everything on God’s promises. Like, when I put my hope in His promises, I’m pretty much betting my whole life on something I haven’t seen or experienced yet.

 

For in this hope we were saved. But hope that is seen is no hope at all. Who hopes for what he already has? But if we hope for what we do not yet have, we wait for it patiently. (Romans 8:24-25)

 

 Which is where faith comes in I guess.

 

 Now faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see (Hebrews 11:1)

 

Maybe sometimes we are supposed to do things the hard way. If we constantly do the whole pain-avoidance strategy, playing it safe, never taking chances, never dreaming bigger than what we are now… because we are afraid to trust God, afraid He wont hold up His end, afraid He will disappoint, afraid He wont handle it the way we want Him to (the safe, easy, pain-free way we are comfortable with)… then we actually inflict greater pain on ourselves. It’s ironic. By trying to avoid pain, we end up with more of it.

 

For me at least, I feel like I actually learn more from my mistakes than my successes. Mistakes teach us more about ourselves, more about reality. Pain often does that I think. I try not to see mistakes as mistakes though – as long as I’ve learned something, it was worth it. And I most likely wont make the same mistake again. There’s something about “learning the hard way” that really sticks with you.

 

There are times when God invites us and leads us in a direction that we are scared or uncomfortable going, and we choose not to trust Him. But God has our best interests at heart. He truly, deeply LOVES and cares about you. He created you, He knows you better than anyone, and He wants you to reach your full potential – what you were created for! He wants your life to glorify Him.

 

What, then, shall we say in response to this? If God is for us, who can be against us? (Romans 8:31)

 

If you have God on your side, what is stopping you?? Anything worthwhile is going to be hard to get. It’s worth the risk.

 

Stick your neck out.

 

And don’t stop. Its not always going to work out. Pain is part of life. Embrace it. As hard as it may be. Because if you keep avoiding pain, you’re going to miss out.  Dream big and pursue those dreams. Take the risk to follow wherever He is leading you.

 

Don’t let fear hold you back.

 

And when you come to a painful place, hold fast hope. Hold fast to the hope that you have in Christ, the promises and truth that He has provided. If you walk away from Him when things get tough, you will never experience all the awesome things God can do in spite of your seemingly hopeless situation. That’s what He does best – take the broken pieces and put them back together, even better than before. Beauty from ashes. He wants to bring you out of the dark mess you’re in, and into the bright fullness of life that only He offers.

 

The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full. (John 10:10)

 

Sin is reality. Pain is reality. Suffering is reality. Having God on your side does NOT mean everything is easy and pain-free, but it DOES mean that He is your ever-present help in times of need, your comforter, your protector, your peace that transcends understanding. He is love and He is good and He is on your side. He has a plan for you, He knows whats going on, and His timing is always perfect.

 

For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. (Jeremiah 29:11)

 

So if you believe it, live like it.

 

In the Bible theres a story where Jacob wrestles with an angel (Gen 32:22-32). Now, I don’t presume to completely understand this story, but here’s the way I see it:  Jacob’s brother, Esau, wants to kill him because Jacob tricked him out of all his inheritance mulah. Esau is a big ol burly hunter with an army of like 400 bandits. Jacob is a little soft guy who likes to play with animals and talk to women. Esau could totally kill Jacob if he wanted to, which he did. So Jacob’s running away with his peeps to stay alive and they’re camping out one night, and Jacob decides to go off by himself to pray and be alone and sleep under the stars. Someone attacks him, they start fighting, turns out its an angel. (Weird.) They wrestle. The angel throws Jacob’s hip out of joint. Its uber-painful. Jacob keeps wrestling. All night. With a wrenched hip. He wont let go until he gets God’s blessing. The angel finally gives in a Jacob is given a new name. He goes from Jacob “the cheater”, to Israel “the overcomer”. The rest of his life he walks with limp. And a smile. 

 

Here’s what I get from this. Even when he is scared and in pain, Jacob wont let go of the angel until he receives a new name. He no longer wants to be known as a cheater, he wants God to give him a new name – he wants to be an overcomer. And God does just that. When Jacob cries out for God’s favor and protection, when he clings to His promise in the midst of a tough painful situation, God is faithful to bring him through. In Christ we are overcomers.

 

It’s a risk to live the life He calls us to. But it’s the only way to truly live. Don’t run from the pain, let God help you overcome it.

the rabbit hole to mentorship

27 Feb

This might be random.

So the other day I took my nails off. Okay not my real nails (ouch) my fake acrylic nails. I actually really love getting my nails done because I like having long nails, and I can never grow mine out. Im a nail-biter. Its true. So anyways, the point is I decided to take a break from the acrylic nails for now. I know, I know, you are obviously dying to know the reasons behind such a huge, life-altering decision. Who wouldn’t be? So I’ll tell you:

1) Moneys. Getting your nails done every 2 or 3 weeks is expensive, and this girl has zero income being a professional student and all.

2) Goals. I have a guitar at my house from many years ago when I wanted to learn how to play. That day never came. Also, do you have any idea how difficult impossible it is to play the guitar with long nails? You cant. Or at least not on one hand, I guess. Okay Im not saying thats why I never learned how to play, but I have decided my newly shortened nails will help re-motivate me in this endeavor. Thats right people, I am going to learn things, musical things, on the guitar. (Now I just need someone to teach me.)

Speaking of goals, there is this website I came across the other day called “43 Things” (www.43things.com). Its basically a site where you can make a “life list” or a list of goals and things you want to accomplish. As you complete them, you can mark them as “Things Ive Done” and share how long it took you and how you did it. You can see how many other people have listed the same things, and how they accomplished their goals as well. You can even give “cheers” to people to encourage them in completing their life lists.

This concept intrigued me. How awesome would it be to live in such community where we encourage one another to achieve our wildest dreams? Where we cheer people on in the pursuit of their goals – where we even know/care what their goals and aspirations are. Where those who have accomplished amazing things share advice and strategies with others who have similar big dreams. It would be like having a group of people that supports your quest to accomplish the deepest desires of your heart. What you really want out of life.

I think we spend so much time caught up in “the real world” that we forget what our true passions are – or we have simply given up on them because we see them as unrealistic. 

I have often heard the phrase “dream big” in christian circles, usually directed at youth, talking about doing great things for Christ, and of course this verse:

Don’t let anyone look down on you because you are young, but set an example for the believers in speech, in life, in love, in faith and in purity. (I Tim 4:12)

I guess its because the youth have so much potential that is yet to be realized, so their main positive influencers tell them they can be/do anything they set their minds to. That anything is possible. Because when you are young, you believe it. 

Thats just one of the many reasons why the youth are so important. You want radical change? You want revolution? You want to believe in something you traded in long ago? As we get older, we get cynical. Some people prefer to call it “being a realist.” We lose that fire/spark/passion as we get older, when we realize that Disney has lied to us our whole childhood, that the real world is not a happy place filled with rainbows and sunshine. The youth have the power to change the world because they dont know what cant be done.

The older we get, the more jaded we become by hardships and heartbreaks and the sad realities of tremendous hurt all over the world today. Not to say that the youth cannot understand these things, because I think they can, but they arent so much focused on them. They have worlds to conquer and battles to be won and their idealistic views keep them determined to achieve such great things. 

Youth are full of energy. They never tire. They give their all to what they’re passionate about, unlike those of us who do just enough and then think we need/deserve a break. Plus, the younger generation tends to approach new things with a clean slate, without years of prejudice and old ways of doing things — which is evident in todays issues of racism, homosexuality, etc.  

Now even though I am singing their praises, the youth are far from perfect of course. But my point is, we need them. Desperately. Their zeal and energy, their idealism. To see the youth being looked down upon and told they are worthless and incapable – that their dreams are unrealistic and stupid – breaks my heart because it is NOT TRUE. What this young generation needs is guidance and healthy investment in their lives, not discouragement and lies about their worth. 

They need YOU.

Ever thought about it? Being a mentor. Investing in the life of someone younger than you. Someone going through what you went through, someone in need of sound (Biblical) advice and true caring. Allowing God to use you to lift someone up to their full potential.

Jesus sets the ultimate example in this area when He chose His 12 disciples, and poured out and invested into their lives. He taught them, encouraged them, and was a role model for their lives. But He didn’t just preach at them, He shared His ministry and lived His life with them for 3 years. In Genesis, Moses seeks advice from his father-in-law Jethro, and Moses in turn also develops mentoring-type relationships with Joshua and Caleb. There’s plenty of other examples throughout the Bible like Naomi mentoring Ruth, Elijah and Elisha, Jonathan and David, even Mary and Elizabeth.

Heres another thought – who are YOUR mentors? Do you have one? One of my old CO professors wrote about this whole you-should-find-a-mentor idea, heres a small piece:

You and I must also avail ourselves of those that can give wise counsel. Look around and seek out those that can mentor you — and in boldness, ask them to. A mentor doesn’t have to be perfect. The truth is, the mentor/student relationship is about walking along together, living life and waiting for Jesus to show up. There is no magic formula or program, merely the heart of a young man or woman connecting with an older man or woman, trying to learn and live life together. There’s a lot of wisdom in those that have walked the path ahead of us, and we can demonstrate wisdom by recognizing this. They don’t have it all figured out, but they have so much to offer — just ask. What difference might life with a mentor make to you right now?

I think I need to get me one of those.

Well, I don’t know how this went from nails to mentoring, but I guess thats the sort of rabbit hole you’ve come to expect from my blogs. Haha.